A Field In Pseudo-Germany
April 26, 2015 8:10 PM   Subscribe

Want to play Warhammer Fantasy Battle? Not possesed of a Scrroge McDuck style moneypit or willing to sell organs in order to buy figures? Kieron Gillen and Matthew Sheret are here to help with Hipsterhammer. Jump in with guides to building Dwarf, Empire or Vampire Count armies on the cheap! Doubles as a bit of a guide to the weirdo world of Warhammer Fantasy, as distinct from your more generic Tolkienesque efforts. They even have a manifesto!
posted by Artw (24 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Warhammer's one of those games that feels sullied, cheapened by its attachment to a money vacuum. Like, the money it brings in has simultaneously made it incredibly popular (because of advertising and PR) and less of a game than it could be because of the aspects that are designed to sell more figures. Magic: The Gathering looks much the same to my eyes.

So, it's nice to see people trying to break the game out of that shell,
posted by JHarris at 8:45 PM on April 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


I just want to say that even a cursory search of e.g. Craigslist or Gumtree or the like will furnish you with what were once hundreds and even thousands of dollars worth of Games Workshop miniatures for pennies on the dollar. Most of them are already going to be painted too. The scumbaggery of GW (obsoleting overpriced collections with each new edition of the rules) is well-documented and universally acknowledged. Point is there's no need to ever buy a miniature fantasy army new (even if they're not GW minis).

Incidentally if you are keen to get into fantasy tabletop warfare without having to spend all your money that you ever have, Diskwars is a pretty damn good alternative. Or if you mainly like awesome miniatures (that you can paint if you like!), look into other Fantasy Flight boardgames, or the D&D Adventure System boardgames from WoTC, etc. Some really outstandingly awesome minis in modern boardgames, a lot of them of frankly far higher quality than anything extruded from the big machines at GW.

Anyway, this is cool.

(WH40K is still better tho)
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:50 PM on April 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




Everybody, EVERYBODY, in Warhammer Fantasy shops at Lidl.
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:17 PM on April 26, 2015


This turned out much more upscale than I expected. I thought it'd be more like this.
posted by Zed at 12:12 AM on April 27, 2015


Ya know, I'm surprised tactical gaming with Lego minifigs isn't a bigger thing. It seems like they'd be perfect for it!
posted by JHarris at 12:41 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Have you seen BRIKWARS!?
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 12:55 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't forget to move past the buying advice to this post which is all kinds of awesome in a very different way.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:45 AM on April 27, 2015 [5 favorites]


Allow me to recommend the printable figures and landscape props from Microtactix Games and their Budget Battlefields line.

Microtactix was founded years ago by two gamers who were fed up with paying high prices for wargame figures. Download your chosen PDFs, print to cardstock, cut, glue, and play--easy-peasy.
posted by magstheaxe at 4:02 AM on April 27, 2015


Have you seen BRIKWARS!?

Are Legos are any less expensive than buying and painting lead minis? If GW and Lego ever officially joined forces, it would be the ultimate nerd money sink.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:48 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


MIDDLE ZEALAND!
posted by Artw at 6:50 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Allow me to recommend the printable figures and landscape props from Microtactix Games and their Budget Battlefields line.

Microtactix was founded years ago by two gamers who were fed up with paying high prices for wargame figures. Download your chosen PDFs, print to cardstock, cut, glue, and play--easy-peasy.


Cardboard standees as replacements for traditional minis aren't a new idea; they've been around since the 80s at least. The problem with cardboard standees is that for most people, minis gaming isn't just about the strategic experience of maneuvering units; it's also about the fun of painting the little figures, and the tactile pleasure in picking up your little mans and moving them around - that metal weight matters on a psychological level - and the visual enjoyment in seeing these three-dimensional armies posed on the board.
posted by mightygodking at 8:20 AM on April 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


Allow me to recommend the printable figures...

That's adorable.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:29 AM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wargames Research Group's De Bellis Antiquitatus is all of the fun of Warhammer, only with actual armies that existed in premodern times, and without the giant vacuum noise from the vicinity of your wallet.

Setup is fast, play is fast, and the armies are small and simple and balanced, and you have 300 of them to chose from. There are little mom'n'pop outfits making high quality figurines in a variety of scales for nearly every army listed, and they're really inexpensive, albeit usually only available mail-order. I put together a Hittites vs. Sea Peoples game a (long) while back. I've still got some Airfix plastic Spartans I've never gotten to painting.

They also publish the more complex "The Hordes of The Things" if you want your Parthian phalanx to fight a dragon.

All they sell are rule sets in the form of a single hardback.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:52 AM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've seen rules for using Lego minifigs in tactical games before, but they never seem to be wholly satisfactory, and certainly not widespread popular.
posted by JHarris at 12:34 PM on April 27, 2015


OMG, I love that manifesto.
I bristle at the phrase GrimDark, both in terms of its origins and how it’s used in conversation. As an abbreviation of Warhammer 40k’s famous tagline, it’s normally used to dismiss dark-for-the-sake-of-dark fiction. That it emerged from Warhammer shows how many people simply miss the joke.

Warhammer is fucking hilarious.
I feel like another Games Workshop game, Talisman, has this same rollicking weirdness. It's a little quieter than Warhammer (though it does have the Chainsaw Warrior and the Leprechaun), but the quirky art and hole-ridden mechanics just get the mind to see something more than just rankings of possible moves by expected value.
It is broken. I started playing Warhammer in 1987, and have dabbled in and out ever since. It has never been not been broken and unbalanced, for dozens of reasons, both in game and in the real world. In a real way, as I talk about in the third point in this little ramble, the out-of-world stuff is the key one.

Irrelevant. This isn’t just about the game. If you cared about a game that much, you’d just play Chess. Or Go.

You care about the colour.

This is about the fun of it all.
This is so refreshing. Maybe it's just me, but I seem to be reading more and more about people trying to codify and purify game design. In part, that's a natural consequence of study and analysis, but it does sometimes remind me of an economist saying that some policy is optimal because it maximizes GDP or something. It's not that I don't like really ludologically pure things like Texas Hold 'Em and Go, but there is value in things that don't reduce to a mathematical sort of regularity.

I saw something else encouraging along these lines this morning: Frank Lantz's Against Design post.
posted by ignignokt at 12:50 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


ignignokt: "Warhammer is fucking hilarious."

It is and it isn't. I mean, yeah, it's all very over the top and way into parody, but it does it so unwinkingly that I get the feeling a large number of fans and players don't get the joke either. After all, when they introduced a new faction/race in WH40k that was actually slightly less total grimdark future pseudo-Catholic fascist and more like a society people might want to live in (the Tau), the fans complained so much that GW felt the need to revamp it to be more totalitarian and violent. So yeah.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:44 PM on April 27, 2015 [1 favorite]


Tau are dull off-theme anime nonsense.

But they also introduced super space robo-skeletons, so it balances out.
posted by Artw at 6:54 PM on April 27, 2015


Artw: "Tau are dull off-theme anime nonsense. "

My point wasn't that, really, just that I think a lot of WH40k players seem to be a bit too enamored with the whole fascism thing...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:57 PM on April 27, 2015


It's a punk-rock reaction to the narratives that there are good guys and villains in every conflict. No, there are just villains. Some are clearly worse than others - Necrons, Chaos Marines, Tyranid, Dark Eldar - but it's a mistake to think the other guys are people you can or should root for or identify with. The Tau were a bad fit from a thematic standpoint, and their tech especially doesn't mesh with the cartoonishly baroque aesthetics of the other armies.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:44 PM on April 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's pretty similar to Judge Dredd in that regard, though like Judge Dredd I do wonder if some people are a little TOO into it or kidding on the square a little with the joke fascism.

Warhammer Fantasy, at least, doesn't really have that problem, unless there are people out the who unironically want to revisit the dying days of the Holy Roman Empire.
posted by Artw at 9:08 PM on April 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


Artw: "Warhammer Fantasy, at least, doesn't really have that problem, unless there are people out the who unironically want to revisit the dying days of the Holy Roman Empire."

There's the dark enlightenment folks, but I'm sure they're gamers.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:23 AM on April 28, 2015


Uh, "I'm not sure they're gamers".
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:48 AM on April 28, 2015


Aww yes...
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!
posted by Artw at 8:09 AM on May 4, 2015


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